A new Walmart store opened in Elk Grove Wednesday morning to fanfare of all kinds: cake, a "Walmart cheer," a choir and dozens of customers waiting in line for an hour.
"I feel fantastic," Store Manager Jorge Sabido said. "I am so excited and ready to help our customers."
The 10075 Bruceville Road store didn't have an easy path to its ribbon-cutting, and the megastore had to to be approved.
>>> Watch the ribbon cutting in the video at right. >>>
Nearby resident Joe Oliver was first in line to enter the store, and said he followed the store's process through the Elk Grove City Council. He said he wasn't concerned about the impact the store would have on his neighborhood.
"All those things will be worked out in time," Oliver said.
Maureen Kelly-Thompson moved into a Del Webb neighborhood across the street after the store had already been approved, but heard a lot about it from neighbors who were concerned about traffic and delivery truck noise.
"I have no problem with it as long as they hold up their end of the bargain," Kelly-Thompson said about the store.
The store is the third Walmart in Elk Grove–a regular Walmart and Neighborhood Market grocery store sit a few miles away on Elk Grove Boulevard. Kelly-Thompson said she hopes this store will be easier to access to more well-stocked than the Elk Grove Boulevard store.
"I don't like the one on Elk Grove Boulevard at all," she said.
Even Noemi Lemos, a self-proclaimed "Walmart queen" who drove with her family from Stockton for the grand opening, said Walmarts can be hit-or-miss.
"There's one on Hammer Lane in Stockton that's bad," she said.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Walmart presented checks to three Elk Grove organizations: $1,000 for the Elk Grove Police Activities League, $2,000 for the Elk Grove Teen Center USA and $5,000 for the Elk Grove Food Bank Services. The teen center and food bank checks were bolstered by donations from the other Elk Grove Walmarts.
Walmart Market Manager John Sherman thanked employees for their work in prepping the store, and recalled advice he received from Walmart founder Sam Walton.
"The most important customer you'll see all day long is the one standing right in front of you," Sherman said.